089: Quick Psychology Tip: The Power of ‘Because’

Laura Copywriting, Podcast [listen here!], Psychology

Story:

Have you ever wondered about the power behind words?

The word “because” in particular can prove to be a great boost in your business but you have to listen to this quick tip to find out how!

A few exciting highlights include:
– Find out how powerful one word can be!
– Does it matter when the stakes are higher?

Take Action Now!

  1. Copywriting for Podcasters? Yep! Grab my Amazon Best Selling Book now!
  2. Check out my course to help YOU become an Amazon best seller!
  3. Let me know what you think of the show!

One final bonus…

Check out the transcript from today’s show!

Hello everyone!

Today is a quick tip…around psychology. This is all around the power of “because” … let me explain more because if you use it, it will help your copy be more compelling on your sales pages, emails, and more!

Back in 1978 a professor of psychology at Harvard named Ellen Langer published a study. One that can help us even today…

Langer had participants in the study to up to people waiting in line to use the busy copy machine on their college campus and ask to cut in line.

It was a long line back then! 🙂

Here are the three different lines that participants had to use as they attempted to cut in line:

  1. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?”
  2. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”
  3. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”

So, the question of the day is… ‘did the wording affect whether people let them cut or not?’ Did the work because have an impact or not?

Here are the results:

  1. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine?”
    [60% compliance]
  2. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”
    [93% compliance]
  3. “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”
    [94% compliance]

From 60% to 93 and 94%! That is a significant jump in people compling with the request.

And notice that the reason after the word ‘because’ did not matter as much as I thought it would when I first heard about this study.

“Because I have to make copies” is not much of a reason to cut the line…that’s the reason everyone else was standing there too.

So what gives?

Langer and other researchers suggest that people go on ‘autopilot’ as a form of a heuristic (which is a fancy word for mental shortcut) …any time we hear “because + a reason” our brain triggers the behavior of going along with it even if the reason isn’t that compelling in and of itself.

Now, it’s also important to note that when people had 20 copies (which would be more of a bother to the person allowing them to cut), resistance did go up on “because I’m in a rush” worked whereas “because I have to make copies” did not.

So, what does that tell us and how could we apply it to our businesses and copy?

1. When the stakes are low, adding “because + any reason” will trigger the automatic response of compliance

2. When the stakes are higher, there is more resistance, you come up with a more motivating reason after your ‘because’

3. Now…think of where you could test this out in your business…

  • Sales calls (voice to voice)
  • Sales copy (written)
  • Email requests

For example, say you are trying to close a lead on a sale and you might write or say:

“Take advantage of this special offer through today only.”

Let’s add a Because + reason and see if that’s more compelling… how about…

“Take advantage of this special offer through today only because the price goes up at midnight.”

I’ll be on the look out for more ways to incorporate this quick psych tip! How about you? I’d love to hear what you test out and what works for you!

And if you are enjoying this podcast, please leave a rating and review in iTunes for me…it would mean the world to me!

Until next time, this is LaptopLaura reminding you to write copy that pops!

Connect Socially:

Host: Laura Petersen
podcast@copythatpops.com
twitterfbLI instagram

All Podcast Episodes:

iHeartRadio
iTunes
Radio Public
Sound Cloud
Stitcher

Please Help Me Grow and Be Found!

If you like the show, please leave me a short review on iTunes! It will help it get found by others too. 🙂